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“The overall approach with much of our custom LED and light-
ing controls was dynamism and color.”
The Potomac Plaza is one example. It features an oval pool
lit by color-changing LEDs. They illuminate 124 programmed
vertical jets that shoot geometric shapes into the air. DMX the-
atrical lighting is used in the Harbor’s central atrium called the
Conservatory, often highlighting seasonal settings.
“Color temperatures purposely vary throughout the spaces
in this complex,” Fournier said. “So do color planes that will
differ in the casino versus the lobby versus the spa. All of this
requires customized lighting and controls that support the
design objectives of each space.”
Moran used the casino as an example.
“The casino has lounges that feel different from the gambling
area,” she said. “The moods are different. The Felt Bar & Lounge
is a sort of escape, concealed but in the casino. It has an intimate
feel. Draperies bring down the light levels. Its dark ceiling creates a nightclub vibe, especially at night. The Blossom Lounge
has a different energy. It’s exposed and very visible to the rest of
the casino. The space pays tribute to the cherry blossoms of D.C.
with its color palate, custom LED fixtures and soft tone lighting.”
Rosendin Electric Inc., San Jose, Calif., and J E Richards
Electric, Beltsville, Md., also worked on the project.
“We talked about how the fixtures would work, driver
placement in the ceiling, and engineering the lighting instal-
lations for easy maintenance access,” Moran said. “Decorative
lighting fixture manufacturers help us with proper installation
and cross check. I wanted to ensure we had the proper fittings
in the ceiling and proper support to handle weight.”
Moran finds design teams are getting more comfortable
with LEDs as the light form advances.
“We certainly had choices before LED,” she said. “I might
have used incandescent for punch, fluorescent or cathode for
a broader or softer distribution of light. To achieve color, I’d
have to filter them. LED combines all of these attributes into
one source. That’s really an advantage.”
Turning LED fixtures into art
Fourteen custom LED chandelier fixtures add elegance to
“To simulate water and motion, the suspended crystals that
form the chandeliers are of varying lengths,” Fournier said. “In
fact, we worked with several manufacturers for a number of
other custom LED pieces in the casino.”
Gladstone Industries, Las Vegas, designed the chandeliers.
In this case, material choices enhanced the lighting.
“By making the ceiling surface of the fixture stainless steel,
the reflective property against the LED light amplified each
prism of the octagonal faceted crystals,” said Vicki Atlasman,
CEO, Gladstone Industries. “That created a multitude of pin-
pointed light and seemed to visually multiply the crystals in
the fixture. The largest chandelier holds over 15,000 genuine
crystals, the smaller over 10,000.”
LED custom fixtures are often statement pieces. Littman
Brands, a division of Troy-CSL Lighting, City of Industry,
Calif., has a custom lighting division that earned a 2016 Good
Design Award for its Archetto LED Sculpture. Organized by the
Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, the
award recognizes “the most innovative and cutting-edge indus-
trial, product and graphic designs produced around the world.”
Nicolas Baldoni, director of custom and design for Littman
Brands, drew inspiration from his great-grandfather Dante
Baldoni, an Italian immigrant who manufactured string instru-
ments in Argentina during the early 20th century.
“I wanted a kinetic design blurring the line between art and
function,” Baldoni said. “With Archetto, I have digital control
of 24 individual linear lighting elements that travel in a vertical
plane. Each one represents a violin bow. Seven programs offer
different waves of light helping communicate musical waves.”
While custom fixtures are often commissioned by a customer, Archetto is a product line for Littman lighting.
“Electrical contractors have helped enormously in finding
the best way to install Archetto and other custom lighting,” Baldoni said. “Each of us gets better the more we do it.”
Casinos and gaming are big customers for Littman Custom
Lighting. Baldoni said his firm is currently working on three
“LED lighting is changing all the time,” Baldoni said. “
Custom lighting puts you in the middle of that change.”
GAVI N, LEED Green Associate, is the owner of Gavo
Communications, a sustainability-focused marketing services firm
serving the energy and construction industries. He can be reached
at email@example.com. I M
Littman Brands’ Archetto LED sculpture blurs
“the lines between art and function,” said Nicolas
Baldoni, director of custom and design.